Resource 3: Critical reading of advertisements

Background information / subject knowledge for teacher

This list below is directed at reading advertisements more critically but can be adapted to be used to read other kinds of texts like poetry, pictures or letters from people with an interest in the school e.g. local education office.

The criteria and questions you ask might be adapted because of this to suit the context more but will still help pupils read for deeper meaning.

  • Collect or write out enough advertisements from magazines, newspapers, supermarket flyers, local markets etc. for each group of four pupils in your class to have at least one example to work with.
  • Before giving these to the groups, ask pupils to talk to a partner about what it means to advertise something and how they would advertise their school to families who might wish to enrol their children at the school.
  • Ask a few pupils to tell the whole class what they have discussed. Then ask pupils to suggest what advertisers do to make their product attractive to customers.
  • Write their suggestions on the chalkboard.

Here are some examples of what advertisers do:

  • Use eye-catching photographs or drawings.
  • Use colour effectively.
  • Place the words and photos or drawings on the page in positions that attract attention.
  • Try to appeal to readers who value one or more of the following:
    • Affordability – this product is inexpensive or is a good deal.
    • Convenience – this product makes life easier.
    • Beauty/strength – this product gives you beauty/strength.
    • Wealth – this product will make you rich.
    • Health – this product will keep you healthy.
    • Pleasure – this product makes you feel good.
    • Quality – this product is the best of its kind.
    • Status – having this product shows that you are superior/the best.
    • Security – this product keeps you safe.
    • Popularity – this product will make people like you.
    • Appetite – this product tastes good.

Using local images, such as the ones above, you could ask your pupils to think about the following questions:

  • What are the purposes of these different images?
  • What different styles are used?
  • How do you think they could be improved?

Text taken from: Focus on English, Grade 10

Resource 2: Outline of a letter to an author

Resource 4: Designing advertisements